With the weather wavering between warmer and cooler, I made Chinese BBQ Yuba Ribs on one of the cooler days. Before the warmer days really kick in and I shut down the oven for the summer.
Chinese BBQ also known as char siu or cha siu is a type of Cantonese roasted meat and a method of cooking – strips of seasoned meat roasted in an oven. The marinade sauce is what actually gives char siu its distinctive taste and color. Apply the sauce to yuba strips or seitan and you have a vegan version of char siu.
Some recipes call for red food coloring to give it that bright red char siu color, I prefer not to use food coloring so the yuba ribs are more brown than reddish. Oil-free too. Chewy and meaty in texture with Asian flavors of Chinese 5-spice and ginger, it’s sweet and salty.
Chinese BBQ Yuba Ribs
Makes 4-5 servings
1 6-ounce package dried bean curd sticks
1/2-inch piece of ginger root, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Chinese 5-spice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Soak the dried bean curd sticks in water for a few hours until soft. Drain and squeeze out any water. Cut into 4-6 inch lengths. If there’s any hard pieces, usually on the ends or where it folds, cut those off (the cut off hard pieces can be saved and used to make jook).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients to make the sauce. Set aside one-third of the sauce. Toss in the bean curd sticks and coat in the sauce and place on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip over and coat with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 10 minutes. Serve with rice or noodles and a side vegetable.